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Abstract

Academic libraries today are asked to justify the value they bring to the advancement of learning. The challenge for accountability has pressured many libraries to re-examine anew how students learn, and the best approaches to 21st century learning environment. Libraries are re-examining their assets – information materials, services, abilities and skills, and particularly, the library space. They are deliberating on how they can better support a learning environment that is geared toward knowledge-building and reflects a need for flexible space, time, people, and technology. Library space has turned out to be the library’s most cherished resource. Despite the fact that information items and databases are readily accessible to patrons outside the library building – a situation that could minimize their visits to the library – most academic libraries that have repurposed their spaces for social and academic explorations are experiencing an upsurge in traffic of students. In order to meet the needs of the knowledge society, teaching faculty are beginning to cherish the importance of experiential learning to prepare their students for a knowledge capitalist society where knowledge is the acme of the economy. They now realize that experiential learning cannot take place within the confines of a classroom, but in an open environment with varied resources and technology that stimulate students to think, explore, and create. This is why library spaces are becoming attractive to the teaching faculty as spaces of value, if so designed for exploration, hands-on learning, and collaboration for knowledge building. This paper reviews the teaching and learning experiences of faculty and students’ use of the James White Library Innovation Lab as a teaching and learning space for INEN 221-001 Introduction to Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Foundations of Play.

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